President Donald Trump has responded to the school shooting in Florida, saying “no child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school”.
“My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting,” he wrote on Twitter. “Just spoke to Governor Rick Scott. We are working closely with law enforcement on the terrible Florida school shooting.”
A shooter opened fire at a Florida high school, killing multiple people and sending students fleeing into the streets before being taken into custody by law enforcement.
The White House cancelled its daily press briefing after news of the shooting broke. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the President has offered Florida federal assistance, if needed.
“We continue to keep the victims, and their friends and family, in our thoughts and prayers,” Ms Sanders said.
The Secretary of Homeland Security has also been in touch with state and local officials, according to the Associated Press.
Democratic Senator Bill Nelson of Florida said had spoken to the FBI to “make sure that all federal resources are being made available to help.”
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“Praying for everyone at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Just spoke with Broward Undersheriff to ensure they have everything they need,” Mr Nelson tweeted. “Will continue to monitor closely.”
The state’s other senator, Republican Marco Rubio, wrote on Twitter: “We are monitoring the horrible unfolding situation in Broward County, Florida with reports of a shooting at a local high school.”
Gun violence has become a regular occurrence at US schools and universities. There has been an average of one school shooting per week since 2014, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a research and advocacy group that lobbies the government for stricter gun control laws.
In January, a 15-year-old gunman killed two students at a Benton, Kentucky, high school.
More calls by Democrats for tighter gun control laws are expected.